“Dormant theatres up for awakening” – Scientific Meeting of the International Network of Ancient Theaters
An exciting 3-day journey related by Stavros Benos
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The Choregic Monument of Thrasyllos on the southern Slope of the Athenian Acropolis
HEALING ROUTES – Foundation of the INTERNATIONAL NETWORK OF ANTIQUE ASΚLEPIEIA
Modern visitors can uncover the past on a road trip around some of Greece’s most important cultural landmarks.
It goes without saying that the cradle of Western civilisation has an unparalleled cultural heritage, but what a modern visitor discovers is that Greece has plenty of innovative ways to showcase its riches.
Delve into Ancient Greece
A road trip is the most romantic way for the discerning modern traveller to explore a region, especially if you have to share the road with the occasional herd of goats.
Epirus, the wild mountainous region with a latticework coastline in northwest Greece, boasts a colourful history from the Bronze Age onwards. Its biggest draw on top of its rugged beauty and tiny sandy strips is that it has remained mostly untrodden by mass tourism.
Follow the signposts along the coast on the newly-launched Cultural Route of Ancient Theatres of Epirus and, one by one, the secrets of these ancient landmarks reveal themselves.
Each is an enthralling archaeological site set in a pocket of dramatic landscape, with cultural traditions and activities such as kayaking and river rafting to make you feel part of a unique environment.
On the map, five ancient theatres provide the dots for a visitor to join to form a rewarding itinerary. The well-signposted route takes in acclaimed treasures such as Nikopolis (the city found by Octavian to commemorate his victory against the enemy fleet of Mark Antony and Cleopatra at Actium in 31BC) and Dodona (renowned for its oracle, which is second in fame to Delphi).
Theatres were the hub of public life in ancient times, and their well-preserved ruins offer a fascinating glimpse into how life was lived
Other theatres in cities include the sites of Amvrakia (founded in 625BC), Gitana on the banks of the river Kalamas (founded in the middle of the 4th century BC) and Kassope, constructed in the first half of the 4th century BC.
Theatres were the hub of public life in ancient times, and their well-preserved ruins offer a fascinating glimpse into how life was lived on the shores of the Ionian Sea. The mountains and gorges are steeped in Ancient mythology, including the river Acheron, which was supposedly one of the five rivers of the Greek Underworld.
Whether you opt to hug the coastline, make forays into the densely forested interior (home to brown bears and wolves) or enjoy eco-activities, you will find a place where time stands still with isolated cliff-top monasteries and skies patrolled by golden eagles.
Launched in October 2018 by the Diazoma cultural association – a movement dedicated to the protection of the country’s monuments, particularly ancient Greek theatres, amphitheatres and stadiums – the Cultural Route of Epirus will welcome the first visitors in 2019 and promises a journey through time, place and the five senses.
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